Stenhousemuir Mill

In 1293 Newbattle Abbey received a charter of lands in the area of Stenhousemuir

et vtilitate molendini fui del Stanhus quotiuxa furnu’ [m?] Arthuri infra baroniam de Dunypas

which translates as

and the use of our mill of Stenhouse which is beside Arthur’s O’on within the barony of Dunipace.” 

Clearly this royal mill was already in existence at this early date.  At the time this small parcel of land was part of the huge barony of Herbertshire, otherwise known as Dunipace.  It later became the baronial mill for the smaller barony of Stenhouse.

The mill is mentioned again in 1601.  Infamously, the amazing Roman monument known as Arthur’s O’on was demolished by Sir Michael Bruce in 1743 so that its stones could be used to repair the dam across the River Carron.  John Melvin “a mulcherer and merechant” held a tack of the mill in the 1750s and brought shipments of grain up the River Carron for storage in the mill buildings.  It was said that the granaries and lofts of Stenhouse Mill could hold over 300 bolls of oats and 300 bolls of wheat.  Peat was also delivered by water for use at the mill.

Illus: Extract from Roy’s Map of 1755 (National Library of Scotland). The mill on the right is Skaithmuir Mill.

The mill may have been one of the reasons why the partners of the Carron Company chose the site for their new ironworks in 1759.  The water supply had to be guaranteed for the mill. Sir Michael Bruce sold his :

Mills of  Stenhouse, & Shealling hills,  belonging  thereto,  kills  millers houses,  and pertinents, with the whole sucken multures, knaveship,  and  other dues payable by the tennants, vassal & others of the Barony of Stenhouse

to Francis Garbett and Charles  Gascoigne in 1766.  They in turn passed them on to Carron Company in 1771.  The mill was turned into a forge c1773. The wheel pit was widened and a dividing wall placed along its centre so that it could take two wheels. That on the south worked the forge and the other a turning mill.  The first edition Ordnance Survey in 1860 still shows the site occupied by a forge.

The site of the mill lay just to the south of the modern roundabout that serves the roads to Carronshore, Falkirk, Stenhouse and Antonshill.

1750John Melvin
1759John Liddell
1772Lewis Potter1786

Sites and Monuments Record

Stenhousemuir MillSMR 1032NS 8825 8263

G.B. Bailey, 2022